In some ways, he kind of like the reward for all the BS that we've had to go through. He's one of the coolest guys I've ever worked with. He's super, super grounded; he's got overwhelmingly large amounts of positive energy, which is certainly something we're down with and need. And most importantly, the music right now — the chemistry of the band live — is getting super, super deluxe.

So right now, we're in a situation where if it's not broke, don't fix it. The schedules are jibing with Corrosion of Conformity, because we certainly don't want to cause any problems there. COC is a great band. Right now everything is good. Mike is committed to support the record, so we're just going to go out there and go rock.

I have to say the two main bands you've played drums for — Kyuss and Fu Manchu — and Clutch are the only heavy rock bands from the modern era that swing relentlessly. Lots of metal and hard-rock drummers try to copy John Bonham and Bill Ward, but they don't swing like those drummers. You and Jean-Paul Gaster from Clutch are the only two drummers who capture that aspect....

Well, thanks! I appreciate that. I know JP from Clutch and he's a fantastic drummer. The thing is, you have to remember that in the '60s, drummers like John Bonham and Bill Ward from Sabbath and even your drummers from earlier, like Ginger Baker and Mitch Mitchell and Keith Moon, these guys were raised on jazz drumming. Your Gene Krupas and Art Blakeys and stuff like that, or Buddy Rich.

I mean, Buddy Rich was John Bonham's whole style. If you took Buddy Rich and gave him a bunch of vodka and 'ludes, he would have been John Bonham. That's where that swing comes from. By the time you start getting into the late '70s and early '80s, unfortunately that swing was kind of washed out of rock drumming.

Rock drumming hadn't been invented yet. Before Bonham and Bill Ward and those other guys, there was no such thing as rock drumming. They were actually pioneering a whole new style of drums. That jazz influence got washed out over the years, but I think JP and I do a good job of bringing that groove and that jazz back to heavy rock.

You touched on the suit filed by Josh Homme and Scott Reader. There must have been a lot of frustration after having this initial amiable agreement for you to go on tour as Kyuss Lives! How hard was it for the two sides to come to an settlement?

Well, it was a very difficult experience for all of us, you know? It wasn't easy to come to an agreement. In fact, John and I really never had a chance. We didn't have much ground to stand on in terms of the lawsuit. It's kind of a frustrating reality, but it didn't really rely on law and right and principle; the things you normally equate with justice.

It really was a matter of economics, and Josh has deep pockets, man. So John and I really didn't have any leverage in terms of what we needed and wanted. Josh just basically wanted money and wanted us to not use the name, and that's what he got. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.

But John and I and Bruno and of course Mike, we're just happy to be where we're at. We're just musicians and we're happy to play music. That was a real drag. It was a bummer experience, but I learned a lot. I think we all learned a lot. I can't get hung up on the negativity and the hatred those other guys have. We stay focused and we stay positive. We'll just move on doing what we love: making music.
Thu., Sept. 12, 9 p.m., 2013

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